Assault and battery, two very common types of offenses, can result in jail time and fines if convicted. Charges of this nature often spring from a simple conflict that led to chaos. When an argument spirals out of control and results in threats or violence, one or both involved parties may find themselves facing arrest for assault or battery.
If you face arrest for assault or battery, call Goldman Wetzel and speak to our assault and battery lawyers in Bradenton. We can review your case and determine how we can help circumnavigate the charges entirely or push for a successful outcome in another way. Contact us at 941-405-5193 for a free consultation.
What Constitutes Assault and Battery?
Unlike other states that lump these two crimes into a single offense, Florida differentiates between assault and battery.
- Assault: Florida Statute § 784.011(1) defines an assault as “an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.”
- Battery: Florida Statute § 784.03(1)(a) provides that “the offense of battery occurs when a person: 1) Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or 2) Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.”
In other words, assaults are verbal threats, whereas battery involves actual physical contact/harm.
When Does Simple Assault/Battery Escalate to Aggravated Assault/Battery?
If certain factors are involved in the case, such as using a weapon or causing serious injuries, the state will automatically increase the charges to aggravated assault or battery. This can greatly increase the potential penalties.
Florida defines the offenses as follows:
- Aggravated Assault: When the assailant makes an assault “with a deadly weapon without intent to kill or with an intent to commit a felony.”
- Aggravated Battery: When the assailant intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement; uses a deadly weapon; or batters a pregnant woman.
Does Goldman Wetzel Accept Assault and Battery Cases in Bradenton?
Yes. Our attorneys represent defendants charged with all types of misdemeanor and felony offenses in Bradenton and throughout Florida, including assault and battery. Our defense lawyers have over three decades of experience, during which time we have collected solid defense strategies and honed our negotiation and courtroom skills.
Some of the assault- and battery-related cases we can facilitate include:
- Simple assault and aggravated assault
- Simple battery and aggravated battery
- Felony battery
- Domestic battery by strangulation
- Violating injunction orders
- Sexual cyberharassment
- Assault or battery on a law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency medical care provider, or public transit employee
- Battery of child
We know how important the outcome of the case is to you and how valuable your freedom, finances, criminal record, and reputation are. Our defense lawyers Summer Goldman and Maribeth Wetzel work together on each case, combining their strengths and fortifying our clients’ defenses.
When you work with us, we will fight to protect your interests and provide the effective legal counsel and representation you need throughout the criminal justice process. Contact us today to see if your case is a good fit for our services.
What Defenses to Assault and Battery Can I Use?
Florida allows several defenses to assault and battery. Below are just a few examples:
- Justifiable use of force
- The victim consented to the act or the altercation was mutual
- The allegations are false and the “victim” had motive
- There is insufficient evidence to prove the allegations
- The threat was empty, and you had no means to carry it out.
- The physical contact was accidental
The facts about which party was really the aggressor, who struck first, and whether your actions were justified can easily get misconstrued in the confusion when the police arrive. But these are the important details that can make or break your case. We will present the facts to the court articulately, dispel any false accusations or misinformation, and tell your side of the story in a clear manner.
Speak to one of our attorneys about what type of defense strategy might work best for you, given the conditions and evidence surrounding your case.
What Penalties Do I Face for Assault or Battery?
The penalties for assault and battery can include fines, incarceration, loss of driver’s license, probation, and a stain on your criminal record. This might, in turn, affect your education or career opportunities, housing options, any pending or future divorce or immigration case, and other areas of life.
The term of imprisonment and the fines depend on the category of the offense. For instance:
Assault (misdemeanor of the second degree)
· Up to 60 days in jail
· Fine of $500
Battery (misdemeanor of the first degree)
· Up to a year in jail
· Fine of $1,000
Aggravated assault (felony of the third degree)
· Up to five years in prison
· Fine of $5,000
Aggravated battery (felony of the second degree)
· Up to 15 years in prison
· Fine of $10,000
Our team in Bradenton will work to get your assault or battery case dismissed or dropped, the charges reduced, the penalties minimized, or whatever the best-case scenario is for your circumstances.
Can Goldman Wetzel Help with My Assault/Battery Case in Bradenton?
Yes. Contact our office today and speak to our team about your case. After our discussion, we will share our professional legal opinion, determine if and how we can help, and then explain the next steps if you wish to retain us. Call us today at 941-405-5193 to get started.